STATE OF LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY & CORRECTIONS IN THE MATTER OF BRIAN M. LITTON
ixth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Bossier,
Louisiana Trial Court No. 149075 Honorable Michael Owens
OF LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONS,
OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLES Stephen A. Quidd for Appellant
WHITLEY R. GRAVES for Appellee Brian M. Litton
BROWN, GARRETT, and STONE, JJ.
State of Louisiana, through the Department of Public Safety
and Corrections, Office of Motor Vehicles, seeks review of
the trial court's judgment reinstating Brian M.
Litton's commercial driver's license. For the
following reasons, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
13, 2015, Brian M. Litton ("Litton") was arrested
by Bossier Parish Sheriff's Deputy Tim Wooten
("Deputy Wooten") for operating a vehicle while
intoxicated, first offense, in violation of La. R.S.
14:98.Litton was transported to the Bossier
Parish Maximum Security Facility and presented with the
standard arrestee's rights form related to chemical tests
for intoxication. In accordance with La. R.S. 32:661(C), the
rights form is used to notify the arrestee of his or her
constitutional right to refuse chemical testing and of the
consequences of failing to submit to chemical testing,
including but not limited to suspension of driving
privileges. Litton subsequently signed the rights form.
Deputy Wooten requested Litton submit to a chemical test
using a breathalyzer machine, and Litton refused to submit to
the test. At the time, Litton held a Class "A"
commercial driver's license, which permitted him to
operate all commercial and noncommercial vehicles within all
classes. As a consequence of his refusal to submit to the
chemical test, the State of Louisiana, through the Department
of Public Safety and Corrections, Office of Motor Vehicles
("the Department"), disqualified Litton's
commercial driver's license for one year. See
La. R.S. 32:667(B)(2)(a) and La. R.S. 32:414.2(A)(4)(d).
to La. R.S. 32:667(A)(2), Litton requested an administrative
hearing to challenge the suspension of his driving
privileges. On December 30, 2015, the administrative law
judge ("ALJ") found reasonable grounds existed for
Deputy Wooten to suspect Litton was operating a vehicle while
intoxicated. See La. R.S. 32:661(A)(2)(a).
Resultantly, he affirmed the suspension of Litton's
driving privileges for refusing to submit to the chemical
January 25, 2017, Litton filed a petition for judicial review
of the ALJ's decision. See La. R.S.
32:668(C)(1). Following a trial de novo, the trial
court rendered judgment reinstating Litton's commercial
driver's license because Deputy Wooten was unable to
remember if he read the entire rights form to Litton, a
requirement under La. R.S. 32:661(C). The trial court relied
on Litton's testimony that he was not advised of the
provisions in the rights form related to the disqualification
of his commercial driver's license. A final judgment was
signed on February 21, 2017. T he Department now appeals.
Department argues the trial court erred in reinstating
Litton's commercial driver's license. According to
the Department, after Litton refused to submit to the
chemical test, La. R.S. 32:414.2 required the
disqualification of his commercial driver's license for a
minimum of one year.
order to promote safety on Louisiana highways, the Louisiana
Legislature enacted the implied consent law, La. R.S. 32:661
et seq., which addresses the testing of persons
suspected of operating motor vehicles while under the
influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled ...